Author Lorelie Rozzano has taken her own life experience shackled by the chains of addiction and is turning it into a series of fictional novels that weave first-hand experience into compelling stories. The first in that series Jagged Little Edges is available as an e-book now, with a hardcover copy due out later in the year.
Rozzano has created a darkly fascinating protagonist in Jagged Little Edges. Lyndsey is a teen living in a world of hurt and abuse, in a family where she is often neglected and beaten, where dysfunction and addiction are ways of life for those around her. Unsurprisingly she seeks some way of easing the pain of her world: "That was how it had felt for her as long as she could remember. Like cuts, coming first in words, as they tore little pieces of her innocence, trust and self worth. Evolving into the physical form, with a smack to the head, a cuff to the ear and at times, welts and bruising on her back side. But by far, the greatest damage of all was what you couldn’t see. A soul, torn asunder, left with an open wound, a vast emptiness and a hunger that screamed to be fed."
Looking for comfort and love, Lyndsey turns to alcohol and drugs, usually stolen from her parents' stash, and finds something like a relationship in the arms of a man who seeks only sexual release, someone to beat when he's angry and someone to help him deal drugs. This bleak companionship is as close to an escape as Lyndsey can find in her brutal world, and for a long time she convinces herself it will get better, that caring and trust might one day be part of her life.
This tough teen, who yearns for her happily ever after, even though she no longer believes in fairy tales, is determined to create a life for herself. She struggles against poverty, abuse and addiction. She takes you on a ten year journey as she looks for love in all the wrong places. Eventually hopeless, Lyndsey tumbles ever deeper into a life where drugs and alcohol rule her every waking moment, ruining even a relationship with a man who pulls himself out of addiction and tries to help her.
At the point of her darkest hour, help comes, in the form of nothing she would ever have wished for and everything she needed to be well. And even then, she fights it, struggling against her voracious demon addictions whose tenacious hold tests Lyndsey to her ultimate limits.
For Rozzano, a phone call to her parents when she had reached her lowest point, out of work, money and friends due to her addictions, turned things around and brought her to treatment. She has now been living clean and sober for more than 15 years.
And it is this success and desire to share her knowledge and the possibility of help to others that led to the creation of Jagged Little Edges, for she has now found what she needed to soften those edges that were destroying her life.
"The relief I had in becoming well was actually what I had been looking for in drugs and alcohol," Rozzano explains. It was in treatment at Nanaimo's Edgewood Treatment Centre that she discovered her strong inner core and learned how to examine her life and behaviours in a brutally honest fashion and to admit just how her addictions had ruled her life for so long.
Rozzano now works at Edgewood and is dedicated to helping others with the lifelong struggle against addiction, Rozzano hopes her books might become a vehicle to get people thinking and talking about addiction and examining the role it plays in their lives.
"My greatest love was addiction," she recalls. "It was no longer people or life."
But once she was ready to face the terror that treatment seemed to hold, her life turned around as does that of her heroine Lyndsey. She found her happilly ever after. It had been there all along. She'd just never been taught where to look.
And perhaps for someone reading the bleak, painful truths in Jagged Little Edges, there will come a moment of clarity and self-awareness that can help that person also get ready to change. "After all, Rozzano states, if I can get sober, anyone can."